I have a confession. There are days when I get really grumpy about clean eating. When I am cold, tired, and hungry, sometimes I want to go into my pantry and pull out something that I can just eat. This past football Sunday, I finished my last long training run for the marathon and I wanted to be a ‘normal’ person. I wanted buffalo chicken dip or taco dip or any-kind-of-not-very-good-for-you dip. I wanted pizza and chips.  I wanted to be like every other American and I wanted to enjoy beer and junk food while watching football.

It’s true.

I am not proud of it.

Lucky for me, we don’t keep junk food in the house. Also lucky for me, we DO keep beer.

I had all the makings for green soup thanks to our CSA and a few purchases from a recent shopping trip.

I channeled my mother and made myself a piece of toast (her cure all for anything that ails you) and I began chopping.

When Manatee came home from the gym, I was perched on a stool manning three pans and scowling.

If this doesn’t work out, I told him, then we are ordering pizza. Then I gave him a look that made him reply almost apologetically, “It smells really good.”

And it did.

After blending everything together, I was ready to taste it.

“Seriously,” I told Manatee as I grabbed a spoon, “we are so ordering a pizza if this is terrible.”

And then I tasted it.

Oh. My. God. It was amazing! Sweaty sock kale had blended with the other ingredients to make a tangy, savory and rich green soup.

“No pizza?” Manatee asked when he saw my face.

No pizza. No taco dip. No buffalo chicken dip and definitely no any-kind-of-not-very-good-for-you dip. This was heaven AND it was healthy.

So, for your next football game, try this soup. It simmers and fills your house with tantalizing aromas and after you make it, you won’t just want to sit on the couch all day. You will be active, you will be interested and you will be treating your body with the respect it deserves. And trust me, you won’t miss the pizza.

Clean, Mean, Green Soup

Modified from a recipe from from Anna Thomas’s Love Soup

1 bunch of kale
12 oz of spinach
1 handful of cilantro
2 small to medium potatoes
1 1/2 tsp of salt
4 cups water
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions
1 package of mushrooms
1/4 tsp of dried thyme
2 Tbsp of dry sherry
2 cloves of garlic
1 large leek
2- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Ground black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper

  1. Remove the stems from the kale and chop into large pieces.
  2. Chop the spinach into large pieces.
  3. Chop the potato in small pieces and chop the cilantro.
  4. Chop the onion, leek (both white and green parts), and mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
  5. You are going to need two pans and one soup pot. In one pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add the onions. Cook until onions have softened (about 10 minutes).
  6. When the onions are cooking, add four cups of water to the pot and add the spinach, kale, cilantro, potato, and salt. Bring to a boil and then lower heat, cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Also, when the onions are cooking, heat the remaining oil in the other pan and add garlic. Cook until garlic is golden.
  8. After the onions have cooked until soft, add the leek.
  9. After the garlic is golden, add the mushrooms and thyme.
  10. Cook the mushrooms until they have browned and they are sizzling. Stir often. This takes about 15 minutes.
  11. Cook onions and leeks until they are golden brown. This takes about 30 minutes.
  12. Add mushrooms, onions, and leeks to soup pot. Deglaze the pans by swirling some sherry in them and add that to the soup pot. You could also deglaze with vegetable broth.
  13. Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes.
  14. Add the vegetable broth.
  15. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency. You can also pour the soup into a blender (if you dare, that scares me!) or leave it chunky.
  16. Add lemon juice and cayenne pepper to your liking. The lemon juice really brightens the soup while the cayenne pepper gives it some bite.
  17. Enjoy with some crusty bread or toast.

Can you believe that soup contains all of these veggies?

Recipe Review: This is a new favorite. This is a healthy and oddly refreshing fall soup. It definitely stands on its own for a meal.  I do admit that it requires some multi-tasking. I learned the hard way that the onions really take the most time. Though it requires multiple pans and some concentration, it’s well worth it and it makes enough soup (about 8 servings) that it should last you for multiple meals.

 

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